Barcelona is an exciting and beautiful tourist destination for budget travel and luxury travel alike. Read on for travel tips to avoid some of the worst tourist traps.
…have your pocket picked. Barcelona is notorious for pick-pockets and petty thieves who prey on wide eyed tourists. Las Ramblas and public transport hubs, especially the central bus station at Estacio Nord, are particularly ripe with pilfering. Travellers are distracted (often by groups of laughing teenage girls) and only discover the theft moments later. Another scam you don’t want to fall foul of is the infamous bird poo con. A helpful stranger divests you of your wallet and valuables under the guise of assisting you clean yourself after you have been poo-ed on.
…visit this beautiful city in Spain with your wits about you. Savy travellers know the best way to avoid robbery is to look and behave like savy travellers. Keep your wallet or purse in a safe inside pocket and stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Do report any theft on the English speaking police telephone number for making a denuncia at +34 90 210 2112
……visit Saragada Famillia at busy and peak times. The crowds milling around and queuing to get up the stairs inside will sour even Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece. It’s something of a construction site inside anyway and at busy times the queue on the stairs advances at a snail like pace.
…arrive early in the morning or forgo the the €8 entrance fee to go inside and admire its seminal beauty from outside. Get your Guadi fix in comfort inside La Pedra and admire Casa Batello’s iconic balconies from a bar across the street while sipping a glass of cava.
……be lured to a “real flamenco dancer” evening extravaganza. Expect only tourists for company and exorbitant price tags for drinks and food. Flamenco comes from the South of Spain and not Barcelona.
……put Seville on your list of cities in Spain to visit. It’s worth it and not just for the Flamenco dancing. In Barcelona grab the Guia del Ocio for weekly entertainment listings, put on your dancing shoes, dust off your hedonistic streak and hop from bar to bar and club to club. Stay out all night like the locals do.
….eat in one of the tourist traps on Las Ramblas, Port Vell or Barceloneta. Especially avoid chain tapas joints.
…..grab your pre dinner drinks in a buzzing street side cafe. The higher price for your drink is worth it for some of the most wonderful people watching opportunities in Spain. Then head into the winding streets of the Barri Gothic for finer dining and authentic tapas.
……take a tour of Camp Nou. At €23 and €17 for children for the Camp Nou Experience tour and the Barcelona FC tour I am mystified as to why it is the most popular tour destination in Barcelona. Your cash gets you a self-guided audio tour of the museum, an empty stadium and a peak into the pressroom and the players changing rooms. You can admire the contents of the trophy room and the VIP stands. You are not permitted on the pitch.
…..avoid the queues for the camp Nou experience by arriving as soon as the tour opens to the public at 10:00am. You can also avoid queues and avail of budget travel special offers by pre-booking tickets in advance if you really must visit the hallowed grounds.